Amy Payne from The Foundry writes, “Talking about Obamacare’s effects is one thing; seeing hard data is another. Heritage’s newly updated Obamacare in Pictures has 15 charts that show the law’s effects on Americans—from canceled insurance policies to new taxes, Medicare cuts, reduced choice for plans, and more.”
The first part of our interview with Anne Wortham made waves. In this second part, we go deeper into her experiences in higher education. Wortham is an associate professor of sociology at Illinois State University. She wrote her first piece for The Freeman in 1966.
The Freeman: In higher education, you are something of a pariah. Would you care to talk about why you think that might be?
Wortham: Although I am certainly not highly regarded in the academic world, I don’t think I am currently viewed as a pariah, at least not among most of my colleagues in the sociology department at Illinois State University. I am simply off the radar screen of mainstream academia. At ISU my presence is noted by the courses I teach and membership in campus governance committees. This is largely a consequence of my lack of active participation in professional organizations, political groups, or civic activities. Although I am a member of the Sociology of Culture section of American Sociological Association, I am not actively involved. While my book, The Other Side of Racism, was published by a university press, most of my articles, though based on my scholarship, are published in opinion journals that are not read by sociologists. The reason is that I know that what I have to say will be rejected by the peer-reviewed professional academic journals. Fortunately the World & I Journal exists and publishes the kind of in-depth articles that I write.
My most recent work has appeared online at the Mises.org website. Other essays have been published at LewRockwell.com. On November 6, 2008, my letter to Americans that criticized their election of Obama to the presidency was published on the Rockwell website. Editors of the site gave the essay the title, “No He Can’t!” which did not reflect my judgment at all. I was certain that he could move the country further down the road to serfdom, and indeed he has done precisely that. It was among the 10 best-read on LRC for February 2009. And for five weeks it was among the top five of most read articles on the site. It went viral on the Internet and was reprinted in newspapers and various blogs. I was swamped with hundreds of emails, phone calls, letters, interview requests, and speaking opportunities. It was read by various radio talk show hosts. Emails have continued to arrive as late as this year. I would guess that over 90 percent of the responses were positive. I turned down all the requests for interviews and speaking engagements, as I didn’t want additional publicity to complicate my relations with students and faculty at ISU, and I didn’t want to be exposed to possible assault at a public event.
I am fairly certain that the essay is disapproved of by faculty who are aware of it, but no one has spoken to me about it. I did receive a message from the ISU president’s office asking whether I was the author of the article. The question came as a result of inquiries the office was receiving from college administrators around the country.
The Obama essay was but an episode of public visibility. I remain essentially invisible in the academic world. Yet there is a record of academic criticism of my ideas. It all began with the denunciation of me by Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University in his review of my book, The Other Side of Racism. Asante condemned the work as “neoracist” and a “complete mastery” of “Eurocentric individualistic ideologies.” He accused me of being totally ignorant of “African concepts” and of failing to see the “antagonism between European individuality and African collectivity.” He found it abominable that someone who was both female and black defended the tenets of individualism as persistently as I did.
The Freeman: Has that been all?
Wortham: No. The next major blow to my reputation came in 1983 upon my joining the faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In a letter to the dean of the KSG, which was shared among Harvard’s black faculty and beyond, Martin Kilson, a black professor in Harvard’s government department, objected to the KSG’s appointment of a “disciple of Ayn Rand’s ‘Objectivism’.” According to Kilson I was unqualified to teach the course on Ethnicity and Public Policy because “Wortham doesn’t believe ethnic realities should figure into public policy, especially not for Black folks, though maybe for some kinds of White folks. And anyway, any good student of ethnicity in modern society . . . can tell you that The Other Side of Racism is a bad book and bad social science.” In another communication he denounced what he called the book’s “militant and polemical ideological thrust” as “tantamount to a right-wing moral slam-in-the-face of Blacks’ century-old strivings for equality in American society.”
Although I am not a conservative, my presence in the wider academic world is basically as a subject of critical analyses of works on black conservatives.
In 2002, 20 years after Kilson’s denunciation, he was still on my case, and included me in a group of black intellectuals whom he denigrated as “‘conservative true believers’ . . . convinced that problem areas in the modern development of African Americans . . . in our racist American democracy could be resolved by fervent application of classical capitalist processes.” He accused us of believing “that racism was merely an aberration on the face of an otherwise perfect American Republic, not, as I and other progressive Black intellectuals believe, a deep-rooted pathology at the core of the American Republic that must be activistically challenged in order to uproot.”
In a collection of essays on Dimensions of Black Conservatism in the United States, author Sheri Smith criticized my “individual ethos” and characterized my defense of the contemptible Lester Maddox’s right to refuse to serve Blacks in his restaurant as being “against the collective sentiment of the African American community, and in this case, the larger American community.” In her view the flaw in my argument is in asserting my own “individual reasoning” (read: subjectivism) over the collective sentiment of the general population. The fact that I was insisting on the universal protection of the right to property was overlooked. So we are left with the impression of Wortham as a defender of a white racist.
In Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Now?: Multicultural Conservatism in America, Angela D. Dillard includes me in a group of minority conservatives whom she describes as having “participated in delegitimizing the idea of demanding collective redress from the state for historical and contemporary wrongs, an idea that has traditionally guided the struggles of women and minority groups for inclusion and parity; . . . shifted the focus to individuals and away from social forces in a far-too-simple story of success and failure, one that demands no redistributive justice for a large segment of American society; have allowed their conservative allies to ignore the criticisms and in some cases the very existence of non conservative women, homosexuals, and people of color.”
As far as I know, my colleagues in the sociology department are unaware of the journal articles and books that examine my ideas. But I am certain that they would agree with many of the negative assessments. Yet, I don’t think they despise me as a pariah. They simply view my defense of reason and individual rights as objectionable and irrelevant to the sociological enterprise. My response is to resist internalizing their judgment or taking responsibility for their ill-informed and flawed conclusions.
The Freeman: What do your students make of you, by and large? Are they shocked? Inspired? Challenged?
Wortham: My students generally know only one side of me—as the transmitter of knowledge from the canon of sociology and from my experiences. Although what I teach is consistent with my sociological perspective, I try not to place myself between my students and the scholarship in the field. However, in the context of examining a particular topic I will introduce students to ideas they are not likely to encounter in other courses. I use aspects of my philosophy, intellectual resources, and biography to illustrate the theories and concepts we study.
For instance, as an illustration of the application of the methodology that Max Weber called “ideal types,” I introduce students to the typology of major ideologies in American politics identified by William S. Maddox and Stuart A. Lilie in Beyond Liberal and Conservative: Reassessing the Political Spectrum. We discuss other typologies, but in this case I want them to know that when American politics is analyzed in terms of its two major dimensions—government intervention in economic affairs and expansion of personal freedom—four ideological categories can be identified: liberal, conservative, populist, and libertarian.
In our examination of the theories of Karl Marx, students learn that the slave trade was an enterprise of mercantilism, not capitalism, as capitalism is characterized by free labor; that in 1848 Karl Marx was witnessing mercantilism alongside early capitalism; that most of the policies Marx believed were necessary to carry out the socialist agenda are now part of the government’s regulation of the American economy; that the U.S. economy is best characterized as a mixed economy of capitalism and socialism that is referred to as “regulated capitalism” or “welfare state capitalism,” in which there is the practice of “crony capitalism” by business and the government. I refer them to Ian Bremmer’s 2009 Foreign Affairs article, “State Capitalism Comes of Age,” in which he defines state capitalism as “a system in which the state functions as the leading economic actor and uses markets primarily for political gain.” They also learn that Marx incorrectly found the value of products in the labor that produced them rather than in the price buyers are willing to pay for them
They are shocked when I tell them that I am an example of someone whom Marx would say is in a state of false consciousness. The reasons: As a black female wage earner, I do not think according to the oppressed groups of which I am a member. I do not support affirmative action; I do not view men as oppressors by definition, or as incapable of understanding me as a woman; I do not envy the rich for their wealth, or believe I have less because they have more. I tell them how, in the 1970s, people like me were told that we needed our consciousness raised.
I know that my self-presentation is disturbing to some students, but I also know that it is the first time most of them have ever heard a black person describe him or herself in this way. For some it is a welcomed perspective that challenges their perception of the ideologies guiding blacks and women, while confirming their own views. For others it not only challenges what they believe most blacks think, but they conclude that I am indeed in a state of false consciousness, and I see the light go out of their eyes. On rare occasion a student has dropped the course. And just as rarely a student has asked to meet to learn more about my views.
During fall 1989, I gave two talks at Smith College. In the first, I spoke on individualism in the black community. My basic argument was that whites do not have a monopoly on individualism, that blacks can be individualists, too. Suddenly, in the middle of my talk, a black student ran out of the room crying. I knew I was speaking in a language that was offensive to her. Students told me of the offensiveness of my views during the question period after the talk I gave the next night. They told me, in effect, that I spoke in a language that should not come from someone who is black and female. They had been taught that my ideas were the same as those used by racists to justify their exploitation of the disadvantaged. One young lady, a white student, condemned me and said I should not have been permitted to speak there.
I could understand why the students were offended by what I said. Collectivism is now taken for granted and taught to students under the guise of diversity, civic engagement, and social change leadership. It is a key element of the American Democracy Project (ADP) initiated in 2003 as a multicampus program by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in partnership with The New York Times. When today’s students hear the principles of individualism articulated, they think they are hearing an opposing brand of collectivism that they call Eurocentrism, or they believe are hearing a philosophy that is hostile to the poor, the needy, and the brotherhood of man. While I do not profess individualism in the classroom, when appropriate I do teach the difference between individualism and collectivism, and what is at stake in the conflict between those opposing worldviews. My approach is not that of a proselytizer, but of a teacher. My aim is to enlighten them, not to convert them to my side.
Recently, I was invited to be an advisor to the Black Sociology Students organization. In my refusal of their invitation, I wrote to them that although I have nothing against students forming an informal group of those who have the same interests or identity background, I do not join groups that emphasize racial, ethnic, gender, or religious perspectives, whether in scholarship or cultural and political interests. I also told them, that while I am very interested in sociological scholarship on black Americans, I question the validity of distinguishing the practice of sociology by racial and other ascribed attributes of those who teach and practice the science. In my view sociology should not be taught or practiced in terms of “whose side are you on.” Lastly, I advised them not to engage in self-segregation; instead, for the sake of their scholarship and careers, they should join the department’s Sociology Club or Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society.
So far, only one student has approached me about my statement, but I expect that some black students who are aware of it and are also in my courses may respond with negative course evaluations.
The Freeman: Anne Wortham, it’s been an honor and a pleasure.
ABOUT THE FREEMAN
In August 2011, we wrote about the benighted Tri-faith Initiative, a complex serving a small Episcopal parish, a Reform Jewish Temple and a Mosque. The complex was to be developed on the grounds of what was a Jewish country club where the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet was a member. The title of our post, “Omaha’s Tri-Faith Project is Not Kosher” was a send up on a quip by Connecticut Jewish Ledger publisher Rick Greenfield who commented: “when I see the word Tri Faith…I think of traif (not Kosher)”. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman opined:
Let’s see if I understand this situation. Reform synagogue teams up with mainline Protestant church with dwindling attendance to provide cover for the inevitable zoning issues and protests that will ensue regarding construction of a mosque. Just perfect.
Research by a local ACT! chapter leader revealed funding of the Islamic Center of Omaha mosque by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) a Muslim Brotherhood front. Rabbi Hausman commented on what the non-Muslim Tri-Faith partners should address:
Who will sit on the mosque’s board, who will serve as officers, what links do/did/will these individuals have? What organizations have such people supported in the past (e.g. American Task Force for Palestine, ISNA, CAIR and other proven MB front groups)?
Today’s Daily Caller had confirmation of those suspected links. Dr. Mark Christian, a former Egyptian Muslim and Executive Director of the Global Faith Initiative in Omaha disclosed them in an updated article, “Omaha ‘Tri-Faith’ project has links to Muslim Brotherhood.” See our NER Vimeo interviews with Dr. Christian, here. The DC article reported:
Their fellow-traveling co-conspirator, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has similarly well documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic supremacist organizations.
The Tri-Faith Initiative features links to both groups on their website, under the “Resources” and “Recommended Reading” tabs. Considering the security concerns presented by a post 9/11 world, these links are disturbing and warrant a discussion.
Dr. Mark Christian has called for the Tri-Faith Initiative to sever ties and disavow connections with all terror-linked Muslim groups.
Dr. Christian is an Egyptian-born convert to Christianity from Islam. His family’s ties to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood go back to its founding, and his conversion to Christianity has earned him a fatwa of death, should he return to his home country.
Dr. Christian is hosting a pair of conferences in Omaha and Lincoln on the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the heartland, at which the lead presenter will be Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch and favored target of radical Muslims everywhere.
In one recent instance, a large radio station has canceled a previously scheduled interview with Dr. Christian and Mr. Spencer, claiming to have done so “on advice of legal counsel.”
This is the station that features Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin as the mainstays of their weekday programming. The largest radio station in the state has expressed interest in speaking with Mr. Spencer, but only if the Tri-Faith Initiative remains undiscussed.
CAIR has been tweeting and speaking against the planned conferences, labeling them “Islamophobic” despite having made no effort to determine their content.
The primary weapon employed by CAIR and ISNA is pre-emption by intimidation. The “co-conspirators” level charges of Islamophobia at the first sign of opposition. They threaten lawsuits and boycotts, doing a 21st-century version of shouting down their opposition.
Attempts to address the concerns raised over the clear links between CAIR, ISNA and the proposed Mosque, have been met with stony silence from the Jewish and Christian legs of this Tri-Faith stool.
All Dr. Christian has asked, is that the Mosque organizers eschew the support of, and affiliation with, CAIR and ISNA, as well as any other groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or terrorism.
Intimidation by CAIR in the American heartland amidst the myopia of mainstream Christians and Reform Jews with a MB Mosque partner in their Tri-Faith Initiative is a travesty of interfaith dialogue. We need look no further than CAIR’s media Jihad against the documentary Honor Diaries. Now we have Brandeis University subjected to another CAIR MB attack that resulted in the university President cowardly rescinding a commencement honorary degree for former Muslim Somali American women’s rights advocate and noted author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
These represent a clear and present danger of Interfaith dialogue to free speech and the right to criticize a religion that intolerantly denigrates personal liberties and freedoms that are protected under our Constitution.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.
A homosexual, Glen’s adult life was cut extremely short due to AIDS. My purpose for writing is to let the world know that Glen was here, his suffering and that I loved him.
Aunt Bummie was my mom’s older sister. Their childhood was horrendous. Their father was accidentally killed in a street shooting. Their alcoholic mother would abandon the two little girls for long periods of time. Mom and Bummie endured things kids should not have to endure.
In the 1950s when Dad broke the color barrier to become a Baltimore City firefighter, our family (mom and four younger siblings) moved out of the government projects into our own home in a black suburban community.
Aunt Bummie and her five sons by two absentee fathers remained in the projects on welfare. I enjoyed occasional sleepovers at my cousins’ government provided townhouse in the city. Aunt Bummie’s house was unkempt with holes punched in walls and broken furniture.
“Aunt Bummie, when I grow up, I’m gonna buy you new furniture”. “Thanks Peanut”,(my nickname), she replied.
I got along great with Aunt Bummie and her boys. And yet, I felt my cousins’ envy of me having a dad in our home. I felt sorry for them.
Aunt Bummie and her boys lived different than my family. Aunt Bummie did not have a job. Unlike my home, the refrigerator was off limits to her children. Food was very valuable; each boy was protective of his food when eating. I remember large generic labeled boxes of government cheese and powdered milk – cans of meat and peanut butter.
Fondly, I remember Aunt Bummie covering her table with newspapers and dumping a huge pile of fried chicken necks and backs on it for us boys to devour. I still like fried chicken necks and backs.
Even as a little boy, I felt the sadness, anger and dysfunction of their household. Aunt Bummie was extremely kind and gentle with me, but brutal towards her boys – Glen in particular, the baby. I vaguely recall overhearing my parents saying Bummie hated Glen because he reminded her the most of his father.
Their household humor was weird and violent – the five boys along with Aunt Bummie would laugh hysterically about the time she broke the baseball bat while beating Jimmie and how she bent the cooking pot while beating Glen.
Glen was the family servant. When everyone was watching TV, anyone could order Glen to go fetch something for them. The slightest non compliance from Glen would result in Aunt Bummie screaming at him, and/or beating him; not spanking, beating. My heart always went out to Glen as I watched him cry during his beatings. The lack of love. The unfairness. The cruelty.
Lawrence, the eldest, was very intelligent and responsible. He played substitute dad to his brothers. Glen was intelligent and responsible. Aunt Bummie’s other three sons acted like Neanderthals. And yet, she catered to her two most lazy and irresponsible boys while being extremely tough on Lawrence and Glen.
Etched in my brain is the day I witnessed something emotionally die in Glen. Aunt Bummie was beating Glen, pounding away at him with her fists. Though his seven or eight year old body bent in reaction to her punches, Glen just stood there with a blank look on his face, not shedding a tear. It was chilling.
Sadly, Aunt Bummie and four of her sons died young. Her surviving son is one of her favorites who is now in his 50s. He never had a job in his life and lives in a nursing home.
The one bright spot in Aunt Bummie’s depressed household was her eldest son, Lawrence. Incredibility, Lawrence worked his way through college and achieved great things. Her favorite jobless adult sons lived at home. Despite two non working adult sons living with Aunt Bummie, a phone call would bring Lawrence with financial support. Lawrence, a homosexual, died of AIDS in his late 30s.
My heart goes out to Aunt Bummie and her boys, no husband in the home for her and no father for her sons. She was prone to explosive fits of rage. Aunt Bummie and her adult sons embraced cradle-to-grave government dependency. I believe their lives could have been so much more. Aunt Bummie eventually became a born-again Christian. Praise God!
But there is a special place in my heart for Glen. That kid never got any love. When he became an adult, according to the family grapevine, Glen was a bit wild and crazy, sexually promiscuous with very little self-respect. What if Glen would have had a real dad rather than the federal government? His life would have probably been much different. Truly sad. Truly tragic.
You’ve seen the statistic in the news that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar men are paid for doing the same work. It is part of the White House’s election year-inspired push for the Paycheck Fairness Act being debated in the Senate this week. However, this backfired when McClatchy found that the White House isn’t living up to the standard it holds other employers:
A McClatchy review of White House salaries in January found that when the same calculations that produced the 77 cents was applied to the White House, the average female pay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is less than the average male pay. When counted the same way that produced the 77-cent figure, the analysis found, women overall at the White House make 91 cents for every dollar men make. That’s an average salary of $84,082 for men and $76,516 for women.
CNN’s John King called this a “textbook case” of “Do as I say, not as I do.”
CBS News’ Major Garrett looked at the White House’s explanation for pay differences [emphasis mine]:
Now the White House said its gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally. The big difference in these stories: When President Obama discusses this issue nationally, he doesn’t mention those other work variables, only the broad figure, that 77 cents for every dollar is what women earn compared to me….
When the factors that the White House used to defend its gender pay gap are used nationally, the Labor Department says the difference in median wages between men and women shrinks to about 5 cents to 7 cents on the dollar.
Things got more awkward for Betsey Stevenson, member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. As Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner points out, when challenged on the 77-cent talking point, she had to back away from the categorical declaration and got more nuanced [emphasis mine]:
“If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke,” Stevenson said. “So let me just apologize and say that I certainly wouldn’t have meant to say that.”
“Seventy-seven cents captures the annual earnings of full-time, full-year women divided by the annual earnings of full-time, full-year men,” Stevenson clarified. “There are a lot of things that go into that 77-cents figure, there are a lot of things that contribute and no one’s trying to say that it’s all about discrimination, but I don’t think there’s a better figure.”
The reasons for pay differences are more complicated than talking points. In the Wall Street Journal, Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute, examine the research behind the wage gap:
While the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males, that is very different than saying that women earned 81% of what men earned for doing the same jobs, while working the same hours, with the same level of risk, with the same educational background and the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and assuming no gender differences in family roles like child care. In a more comprehensive study that controlled for most of these relevant variables simultaneously—such as that from economists June and Dave O’Neill for the American Enterprise Institute in 2012—nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination.
Workforce discrimination still exists, and those who engage in it should be held accountable. However, the Equal Pay Act, signed into law in 1963, and other federal and state laws are in place to outlaw paying women lower wages for the same job.
The Paycheck Fairness Act being debated in the Senate will only empower plaintiff lawyers and get courts involved in setting salaries. Camille Olson, labor lawyer at Seyfarth Shaw, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee that the Paycheck Fairness Act
essentially invites employees and employers to dispute in court whether certain qualifications, including education, training, or experience, are justifications for disparities in compensation. In that sense, the Act represents an unprecedented intrusion of government into the independent business decisions of private enterprises by eroding the fundamental purpose of compensation; in reality, compensation functions not only as a means to remunerate employees for work performed, but also to enable employers to attract the skills and experience likely to promote the competitiveness of the enterprise.
The bill would take compensation decisions away from employers and place “judges and juries in the human resources offices of American businesses.”
If that happened, they could look at the White House first.
On April 2, 2014, Louisiana has witnessed the lame demonstration of “Common Core distancing” from the governor (Bobby Jindal) who signed the state onto “the standards” (CCSS) in 2009– before they were written.
In 2010, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan accepted Louisiana’s CCSS MOU (memorandum of understanding) despite the majority of Louisiana school districts rejecting the idea.
Like Jindal, Duncan has begun playing the CCSS Distancing Game. He first did so when when Indiana appeared to be the first state to drop CCSS, in March 2014.
On March 15, 2014, Duncan publicly stated that “states are free to completely discard Common Core.”
This is the same Duncan who told newspaper editors in June 2013 how to favorably report on CCSS.
Now, on April 8, 2014, Duncan has told the House Appropriations Subcommittee that he “just likes high standards”:
“I’m just a big proponent of high standards. Whether they’re common or not is secondary,” he told members of the House appropriations subcommittee that works on health, education, and other related issues. [Emphasis added.]
And at this point, Duncan falls back on the “or other common standards” clause included in the Race to the Top (RTTT) application. You see, the House Appropriations Committee questioned Duncan on the apparent requirement that states agree to CCSS in order to compete for RTTT money.
Duncan states that “zero” federal grant money is contingent upon CCSS since states could have chosen to form their own “common standards.”
Duncan is drawing on a clause in the 2010 Blueprint for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization:
States may either choose to upgrade their existing standards, working with their 4-year public university system to certify that mastery of the standards ensures that a student will not need to take remedial coursework upon admission to a postsecondary institution in the system, or work with other states to create state-developed common standards that build toward college- and career-readiness.
Never mind that the federal government would still be controlling state standards by ultimately deciding if the evidence offered is “good enough” for state receipt of federal money.
The author of the April 8, 2014, EdWeek article, Michele McNeil, isn’t convinced of Duncan’s “zero” response:
But when it comes to competitive grants, the answer is more complicated than “zero.”The administration’s original $4 billion Race to the Top program awarded 40 points to states for developing and adopting common standards. All 12 of those winners have adopted the standards, and have not backed off. What’s more, a separate, $360 million Race to the Top contest to fund common tests was based on the premise that states needed help developing such assessments based on the common standards. But technically, aligning to the common core wasn’t required (you just probably weren’t going to win without it).
Duncan’s testimony, which didn’t contain such nuances, illustrates the fine line the department continues to walk between supporting states as they implement the common core, and not giving critics ammunition to cry “federal overreach.” [Emphasis added.]
Duncan (and Obama) will be crossing that “fine line” should they make CCSS a definitive component of the FY2015 ESEA reauthorization blueprint, a direction that the Cato Institute believes the Obama administration plans to follow.
Proponents of CCSS are fond of saying that “federal overreach” is an unsubstantiated complaint.
Not so, according to ESEA Subpart Two,Section 9527(c)(1):
(c) PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING FEDERAL APPROVAL OR CERTIFICATION OF STANDARDS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, no State shall be required to have academic content or student academic achievement standards approved or certified by the Federal Government, in order to receive assistance under this Act. [Emphasis added.]
However, given the Obama/Duncan love of education privatization, I don’t think the ultimate goal is federal control of American “common,” public education.
I think the ultimate Obama/Duncan goal is for-profit education company control of American education– but no longer public.
For-profit control of American education can only lead to the end game of not educating all American children– just the “common” ones who might be exploited for profit.
The children of privilege– Obama’s children and Duncan’s children– will be exempt from “common” privatization betrayal.
A 2014 Pew Study reports, Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. In 2013, a Vatican spokesman reported 100,000 Christians are murdered each year. Churches are regularly burned in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Iraq. Christian pastors have been jailed and beheaded.
This Prayer March is not political, but rather an appeal to God and humanity to stop the desecration of human life. Churches and other interested organizations are invited to participate.
Location: Lake Eola Park, at The Forum (opposite Panera Bread)
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Time: 6:30-9:00 PM
Conclusion: International speakers at Trinity Lutheran Church, 123 E. Livingston St. 8:00-9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free and Public Invited
Dress: March will cover 1 mile so dress comfortably
Parking: Free parking across from Trinity Lutheran Church
The march will begin at 6:30 PM, East end of Lake Eola Park, at the Forum opposite Panera Bread, proceeding along the South end of Lake Eola, Northward on Rosalind, concluding with a prayer rally at Trinity Lutheran Church, 123 E. Livingston Street.
8:00 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, we will have International speakers from Europe, Egypt, Syria, and Iran sharing their personal accounts of Christian persecution.
Signage and candles will be provided by Burning Bush Ministries who is sponsoring this event.
Contact Bruce Lieske or Alan Kornman at PrayerMarch@yahoo.com for more info.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (physician, writer, lecturer and father of the U.S. Supreme Court jurist by the same name) wrote:
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
The sooner African leaders come to appreciate this, the better off we will all be. Many of the African leaders I meet with in my consulting activities complain about how Africa is portrayed in the U.S. media. Yet, they are without an effective, proactive, public relations strategy.
Tourism provides the perfect platform to improve one’s brand, by educating visitors who have hitherto been exposed exclusively to filtered media images. Before more U.S. companies and individuals embrace Africa as an investment destination, they need to be “shown around”. Living the experience changes perspectives and it changes lives.
Americans must be disabused of the broad stroke images of Africa as a poor, unstable place that is wracked by famine and war. Indeed, these problems are present, but I remind you that Africa is not a country. It is a continent that is made up of 54 nations. Look at Botswana, where proceeds from diamond mining are used to give citizens free education all the way through university. (You don’t see that in the richest country on earth). Ghana is one of the more stable economies on the continent. South Africa is booming and Nigeria is nipping at its heels.
Africa must not wait for others to tell their story. They must tell their own story! If you live on the east coast of the U.S. you can be in Dakar, Senegal in about the same time it takes to get to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Did you know that Delta Airline’s most profitable route, worldwide, is Atlanta to Lagos (Nigeria)?
Let’s talk national security. The best way to fight terrorism is (also) with education. The more we know and the more our African friends know, the more difficult it is to paint the west as anti-African or anti-Muslim and the more difficult it is for westerners to think of Africa as a basket case.
Questions for my African friends: What has your country done to educate Americans? Do your government leaders meet with other than mainstream journalists when they are in the U.S.? Do your tourism officials meet with tour operators and other travel professionals abroad?
A good stretch before a physical workout will help you to avoid injury. Stretching can be uncomfortable, but it’s worth the effort. If Africa is willing to stretch into a more constructive engagement with Americans and we are willing to learn more about a vast emerging continent by seeing it first hand, then stereotypes and inaccurate portrayals will cause less harm.
Do some stretching. It’s worth it.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is a map of Africa produced in Amsterdam. It is a first edition circa 1689 using copper engraving.
Surely NOT the ones listed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee!
Recently the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out a “2014 Priority Issues Survey.” In addition to the obligatory Tea Party bashing: “help the Democrats protect the progress we have made from Tea Party radicals, deliver the positive changes America needs and help Democrats win a Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives!” and the fundraising requests to “help protect House Democrats against Republican attacks”—there is a section on energy.
Section VII, asks: “Which of the following will help America achieve energy independence?” It offers five options that do little to move America toward energy independence—which isn’t even a realistic goal given the fungible nature of liquid fuels. Additionally, most of the choices given on the DCCC survey actually increase energy costs for all Americans—serving as a hidden tax—but hurt those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale the most. The proposals hurt the very people the party purports to champion.
The survey asks respondents to “check all that apply.”
Raising gas mileage standards for all new cars and trucks
This choice presumes that making a law requiring something will make it happen. Sorry, not even the Democrats have that kind of power. Even the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025—finalized on August 28, 2012, and called “the largest mandatory fuel economy increase in history”—will be tough to hit.
The CAFE standards mean that a carmaker’s passenger vehicle fleet average must achieve 54.5 mpg. To meet that, and produce the big pickup trucks and SUVs Americans like to drive, the manufacturers must also produce the little itty-bitty cars with mpg above 60 and the more expensive hybrids (not one of which was on the top ten best-seller list for 2013)—or have a loss leader like the Chevy Volt to help bring down the average.
Suggesting a forced raising of gas mileage standards implies that auto manufacturers are in collusion with oil companies and are intentionally producing gas guzzlers to force Americans into buying lots of gasoline.
With the price of gasoline wavering between $3.00 and $4.00 a gallon, most people are very conscious of their fuel expenditures. If it were technologically possible to build a cost-effective truck or SUV that had the size and safety Americans want and that got 50 mpg, that manufacturer would have the car-buying public beating a path to its door. Every car company would love to be the one to corner that market—but it is not easy, it probably won’t be possible, and it surely won’t be cheap.
When the new standards were introduced in November 2011, Edmunds.com did an analysis of the potential impact: 6 Ways New CAFE Standards Could Affect You. The six points include cost and safety and highlights some concerns that are not obvious at first glance.
Achieving the higher mileage will require new technologies that include, according to Edmunds, “turbochargers and new generations of multi speed automatic transmissions to battery-electric powertrains.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have estimated that the average new car will cost $2,000 extra by 2025 because of the proposed new fuel-efficiency standards.
Additionally, new materials will have to be used, such as the proposed new Ford F-150 made with aluminum, which is predicted to add $1,500 over steel to the cost of a new truck. Aluminum also complicates both the manufacturing and repair processes. Edmunds reports: “Insurance costs could rise, both because of the increased cost of cars and the anticipated hike in collision repair costs associated with the greater use of the plastics, lightweight alloys, and aluminum necessary for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. (Plastics, lightweight alloys, and aluminum are all more difficult than steel to repair.)”
Another concern is safety. “The use of weight-saving materials will not only affect repair costs but could make newer vehicles more susceptible to damage in collisions with older, heavier vehicles, especially SUVs and pickups. Their occupants could be at a safety disadvantage.”
One of the subtle consequences of high-mileage vehicles is the probable increase in taxes. Edmunds points out that lower driving cost may increase wear-and-tear on the nation’s highway system as consumers drive more freely. “Declining gas sales mean a further decrease in already inadequate fuel-tax revenue used to pay for road and infrastructure repair and improvement. … As more untaxed alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and electricity are used for transportation, fuel tax revenue falls even farther. All of this is likely to lead to calls for a road tax based on miles driven and not the type of fuel used.”
Instead of increasing costs by forcing a higher mpg, a free-market encourages manufacturers to produce the cars the customers want. The Wall Street Journal story on the Ford F-150s points out: “In 2004, as the auto market soared, Ford sold a record 939,511 F-series pickups. That amounted to 5.5% of the entire U.S. vehicle market. But four years later, gas prices rose above $4 a gallon, sales of pickups began tumbling.” Then, consumers wanted small cars with better mileage. I often quote an ad for Hyundai I once saw. As I recall, it said: “It’s not that complicated. If gas costs a lot of money, we’ll produce cars that use less of it.”
In response to an article in US News on the 54.5-mpg CAFE standard, a reader commented: “ALL CAFE regulations should be repealed. Let the market and fuel prices decide what vehicles are purchased. The federal government should not be forcing mileage standards down the throats of the automaker or the consumers. This is still America, right?”
Develop Renewable Energy Sources
There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea renewable energy. However, the cost factor is one of the biggest problems. When I do radio interviews, people often call in and point out Germany’s renewable energy success story: “The share of renewable electricity in Germany rose from 6% to nearly 25% in only 10 years.” While that may be true, it doesn’t address the results: “Rising energy costs are becoming a problem for more and more citizens in Germany. Just from 2008 to 2011 the share of energy-poor households in the Federal Republic jumped from 13.8% to 17%.”
Germany has been faced with a potential exodus of industry as a result of its high energy costs. For example, in February, BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker by sales, announced that for the first time, it “will make the most of its capital investments outside Europe.” According to the Financial Times, Kurt Bock, BASF chief executive, explained: “In Europe we have the most expensive energy and we are not prepared to exploit the energy resources we have, such as shale gas.”
Throughout America people are beginning to feel the escalating costs of the forced renewable energy utility companies are required to add as a result of Renewable Portfolio Standards that more than half of the states passed nearly a decade ago.
But the cost is not where I take issue with the DCCC’s inclusion of “Developing renewable energy sources” in its survey. The survey question is about achieving “energy independence.”
In preparation for writing this column, I posted this question on my Facebook page: If the goal is “energy independence,” what issues should be a priority in America? The first answer posted was: “Smart grid and fast ramp natural gas turbines.” Another offered: “High efficiency appliances and lights. I am a LED FAN!” Yet, another: “Solar, tidal, water.” Bzzzzzzt, all wrong answers.
All of the above suggestions are about electricity. The U.S. is already electricity independent. We have enough coal and uranium under our soil to provide for our electrical needs for the next several centuries. Add to that America’s newfound abundance of natural gas and we are set indefinitely. By the time we might run out of fuel for electricity, new technologies will have been developed based on something totally different, and, I believe, something that no one is even thinking about today.
Developing more “solar, tidal, water,” or wind energy won’t “help America achieve energy independence.” Nor will a smart grid or natural gas turbines. High efficiency appliances or LED light bulbs won’t either.
Encouraging consumer and industrial conservation
Consumers are already feeling the pinch of higher energy costs—both electricity and liquid fuels. When possible, people are restricting driving by taking a stay-cation rather than a traditional vacation. Many people who can afford the option are switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.
As the BASF story above makes clear, most industry is energy intensive. In the story about the Ford F-150’s use of aluminum, the WSJ says that the new manufacturing process requires “powerful and electricity-hungry vacuums.” Industry cannot stay in business without profit. Therefore, in interest of preservation, energy conservation is virtually an instinct.
The cost of energy drives conservation.
Including this question in the survey is a red herring that would lead the respondent to think conservation is a big issue.
Investing in energy efficient technology
When the word “investing” is used in reference to a government document or program, it always means spending taxpayer dollars. In a time of ongoing economic stress, we don’t need to borrow more money to spend it on something of questionable impact on energy independence.
Remember, much of the “efficiency” numbers bandied about refer to electricity, which has nothing to do with energy independence. Energy.gov states: “Every year, much of the energy the U.S. consumes is wasted through transmission, heat loss, and inefficient technology…Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to … improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers. The Department of Energy is working with universities, businesses, and the National Labs to develop new, energy-efficient technologies while boosting the efficiency of current technologies on the market.” Among the “solutions” presented on the page are “developing a more efficient air conditioner” and “a new smart sensor developed by NREL researchers that could help commercial buildings save on lighting and ventilation costs.” Nothing is offered that will actually impact energy independence.
Increasing offshore drilling and oil exploration in wilderness areas
Respondents are discouraged from selecting the one item on the list that could actually lead to “energy independence” by the inclusion of the words “offshore” and “wilderness areas”—as if those are the only places drilling could take place.
Yes, we should increase exploration and drilling—and, while there are risks, it can be, and has been, done safely in offshore and wilderness areas. But there are vast resources available on federal lands that are either locked up or are under a de facto ban due to the slow-walking of drilling permits.
Instead of phrasing the choice “Increasing offshore drilling and oil exploration in wilderness areas,” if the goal is energy independence, the option should have read: “Release America’s vast energy resources by expediting permitting on federal lands.
While the options on the DCCC survey, even if a respondent checked them all, will do little to “help America achieve energy independence,” the survey didn’t include any choices that could really make a difference in America’s reliance on oil from hostile sources.
Some selections that would indicate a true desire to see America freed from OPEC’s grip should include:
- Approving the Keystone pipeline;
- Revising the Endangered Species Act so that it isn’t used to block American energy development;
- Encouraging the use of compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel in passenger vehicles and commercial trucks;
- Expediting permitting for exploration and drilling on federal lands;
- Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and
- Cutting red tape and duplicative regulations to encourage development.
The fact that not one of these options that would truly make a difference was included in the DCCC survey belies the ideology of the Democratic Party. Its goals do not include energy independence. Instead, it wants to continue the crony corruption that has become the hallmark of the Obama Administration as evidenced by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz’s April 2 announcement that: “[T]he department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.”
Like the Ukraine, until there is a change at the top, the U.S. will likely remain dependent on the whims of countries who want to use energy as a weapon of control. The goal should be energy freedom.
Rodney A. Erickson, Ph.D., the new president of Penn State, delivered welcoming remarks to attendees at the very first Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference Oct. 29-30, 2012. Erickson assumed the presidency Nov. 9, 2011, after the disgraced Graham Spanier was forced to resign as president following exposure of his foreknowledge of Coach Jerry Sandusky’s infamous rapes of young boys.
The 2009 well-funded Penn State Justice Center for Research partnered the conference with the College of the Liberal Arts and University Outreach. The Justice Center’s “press releases,” which appear on the Web, began in 2010. These press releases, like the October conference speakers, ignored the infamous child sex abuse Penn State network.
I never heard the names of former “Coach Sandusky” or “President Spanier” mentioned by a single carefully vetted Penn State child sex abuse speaker. Nor was there a mention of The Second Mile, the nonprofit charity founded by Sandusky & Co. – of course, to help local underprivileged and at-risk youth. The conference speeches are posted on the Internet, so if someone noted these names or events when I sneezed, kindly email those citations to me.
While Mr. Sandusky was convicted of child sexual abuse in June 2012, Mr. Spanier has recently been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. In plainer English, Spanier is accused of a long-time cover-up of Sandusky’s homosexual child rapist preferences.
The conference, attended largely by sexuality “experts,” therapists and survivors, was visible in its denial of a multitude of related facts about the violation of children.
Indeed, many therapists and survivors in the audience were stunned to hear the famous keynoter boldly claim a steep decline in substantiated child sex abuse (Finkelhor) and public safety resulting from sex offender treatment (Kaufman).
Although it would be dandy to believe Finkelhor and Kaufman’s fantasy “statistics,” telling us that all is improving so we must be doing things right, one critic said the massive child sex abuse decline parroted by the sexperts suffers from “the smell test – we on the ground see the problem of child sex abuse getting worse, not better.”
In fact, the expert child abuse denier, Dr. David Finkelhor, is the director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory and professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Finkelhor has so successfully pleased all big-government political administrations that he – like the Kinsey Institute and similar agencies – has received government grants from 1978 to today.
Despite the exposure of 5,200 Pentagon staffers found downloading “child pornography,” neither this well-known phrase nor “pornography” make it into the sexperts’ prevention lexicon. Who were these people at Penn State to protect? Not children.
Earlier in writing about pornography’s link to adult and child rape, I exposed some of the phony stats cooked by law professor Glenn Reynolds. Glenn and Northwestern law professor Anthony D’Amato claim “Porn up, Rape down” – with psychologists and therapists grabbing onto that shibboleth like a hungry dog on a bone.
The child abuse speakers didn’t dare claim, like D’Amato, that since “teenagers and adults” are using pornography fewer children are raped, yet their silence strongly implied that is the case. They all know the truth. U.S. News and World Report (April 24, 2000) said, “Facing political heat to cut crime in the city, investigators in the New York PPD’s Sex Crime Unit sat on (thousands of) reports of rapes and other sexual assaults.” One officer snarled, “The way crime was solved was with an eraser.”
In 2000 even the FBI admitted that one district “failed to report between 13,000 and 37,000 major crimes.” “A 2000 Philadelphia Inquirer report found from 1997-1999, of 300,000 sex crime reports, thousands of rapes got relabeled ‘investigation of persons’ or ‘investigation, protection, and medical examination’ – non-crime codes.” “This puts one in four rapes in a non-crime category.”
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (ret.), a West Point psychology professor, said, “Violent crime … is still about five times greater today, per capita, than it was in 1957.” He adds, “We’d have to let 1.5 million convicted offenders go to get down to a 1970s-level incarceration rate. We are lying about the
The National Institute of Justice Managing Adult Sex Offenders (1997) reported: “The number of adults convicted annually of rape, child molestation, or other forms of sexual assault and sentenced to state prisons more than doubled between 1980 (8,000) and 1992 (19,100). In 1994, state prisons held 88,100 sex offenders compared to 20,500 in 1980.”
Adds Grossman, “Crimestat” had cops bring down crime. “When the NYPD police union went over the data the crime rates doubled in New York City.” Other than murder (reduced via medical technology), “police artificially ‘bring crime down,’ we cook the books.”
“The American Police Beat,” May 2005 quotes Denver Police Lt. James D. Ponzi, a Regis University professor: “Compstat turned into ‘Compscam’ as departments cooked the books to lower crime rates,” never making it into the “National Incident Based Reporting System [NIBRS].” Adds Ponzi, “These ‘lower’ rape statistics don’t reflect what is truly happening in sex related crimes.” For example, “LAPD reported a 28 percent drop in violent crime in 2005, the same year the department reclassified domestic assaults in which the victim suffered minor injuries or had no injuries.”
“In Atlanta, 22,000 crimes were left out of the crime reports. In New York, the crime rates doubled in a precinct when the proper classification was applied by the police union. The list goes on.” Bureaucrats are happy, but “the citizens … get nothing but a false sense of security about the safety of their cities.” Although pornography is absolutely causal in child sexual abuse, other critical falsehoods were given to the attendees.
Again ignoring the massive increase in child sex abuse that coincides with “school sex ed,” Finklehor wants more of the same to lower child sex abuse rates. He claims boys who are “gay” should be supported in their decisions, without any reference to any sex abuse that these boys probably experienced. Hence we lower rates of child sex abuse by labeling children “gay” and saying they liked it.
All speakers ignored the fact that younger victims are more likely to have developed traumatic amnesia; they ignore the increasingly violent nature of child sex abuse, pedophile rings, pedophile proponents, child sex trafficking, institutions harming large numbers of children, child protective services workers refusing to protect and instead reunifying children inappropriately, courts ordering children to live with reported offenders and coordinated disbelief of children when they report sex abuse. Attorneys and advocates in divorce situations advise their clients not to report child sex abuse, since the children are almost always placed with the abusers (Neustein & Goetting 1999 and Steubner, 2011).
Finkelhor also claims “low” recidivism for sex offenders. Ludicrous. Numerous studies show a steady increase in recidivism over time. One attendee stated, “Dr. Kaufman’s talk was disturbingly offender friendly.” Statistics are commonly used to falsify reality. I’ve written extensively on that in my books on the statistical and criminal frauds of Alfred Kinsey. Interesting, that one of the speakers defined statutory rapists as children’s “partners,” the word coined by Kinsey for child rapists.
The speakers claims that a rapist is a child’s “partner,” that children are “engaged in prostitution” and that “children with a crush” can lie to have sex speaks to adopting a predator worldview.
The objection to sex offender registration as “draconian measures” is more predator-protector language, as is, “Children may like the attention,” and “not all victims experience problems.” These claims are disingenuous since problems develop throughout the life cycle and there is no way to assess that truth. “Kids having problems prior to the abuse put them at risk of being abused” again lays the blame on the children. All this while hiding the role of mainlining pornography as the primary culprit in child-on-child and adult-on-child sex abuse.
A very serious complaint came from one survivor who said, “The family courts are really criminal enterprises. Even the Center for Missing and Exploited Children is part of the problem. I collected fliers over five years and found that NCMEC sent four times more fliers looking for women abductors than for men, although men abduct more often. I was appalled. I confronted the president and shortly NCMEC stopped sending fliers and moved to the Internet.”
As violent sex crimes increase, including all sodomy and use of objects, and photos, etc., many professionals, themselves users and/or abusers, must minimize the horror of the growing child sex abuse pandemic. To many hearing these speakers, this appears to have been the subtext of the first Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference.
There’s a chapter in my book, Guardian of the Republic, called, “The Hunt for the Black Conservative.” In it I address how the liberal progressive Left will spare no efforts to demean, denigrate, destroy, and discredit black conservatives. The interesting hypocrisy is that if you are an acceptable black person — namely a liberal progressive — all manner of protections will be afforded regardless of how disgusting and heinous your offenses may be.
Take for example the abhorrent past and behavior of one Rev. Al Sharpton. If you don’t remember his Tawana Brawley episode, you can read about it here. FYI, this was during his obese, tracksuit phase. However, MSNBC is so proud of this charlatan, they gave him his own show.
In contrast, liberal progressives recently have attacked former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice claiming she is not qualified to be the commencement speaker at two universities, Rutgers and Minnesota.
Without a doubt the greatest evidence of liberal progressive socialist hypocrisy is the shielding of Barack Hussein Obama. Here is truly the most unqualified person ever to hold the office of president. He is indeed the nation’s first affirmative action president — considering the abject dismissal of his lack of accomplishments and papering over of his formative years.
Obama’s voting record as a state and US Senator is replete with votes of “present.” And his empty rhetoric and bumper-sticker slogans have resulted in America’s worst economic recovery and diminished global standing as a result of failed foreign policy.
Obama lies and deceives the American people at the drop of a hat — if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period. And we all know 7.1 million Americans didn’t magically sign up for Obamacare — whatever sign up means.
But most despicable were his abandonment of Americans under terrorist attack to die in Benghazi and the use of a government agency, the IRS, to attack Americans who oppose his radical socialist agenda. But what do he and the Left say? These are just phony scandals.
It is unconscionable to me that the black community as a whole follows these white liberal progressive masters and the orders of their black overseers to remain on the new economic plantation and support the lies and deceit. And then they join in attacking their black brothers and sisters who are conservatives and have managed to escape this political servitude. Shameful.
I care not what liberal progressive socialists and their media accomplices think of me. Liberal hypocrisy has a repulsive stench. If they ever own up to the highest levels of honor, integrity, and character they’ll earn some respect. Unfortunately, that appears to be an unachievable goal for progressive socialists.
Take the plank from your own eye before you consider examining a speck in mine.
RELATED STORY: DETAILS: SHARPTON WAS FBI MOB RAT…
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.
Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
Here are the facts…
The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans. This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were huge. American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”. Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.
He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.”
At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a Variety paper – it’s Ronald Reagan.
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry… and for many generations of Americans to follow.
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you’ll enjoy it and treasure it even more.
Many people don’t know there’s a lead in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America…,” so here’s the entire song as originally sung.
LYRICS TO GOD BLESS AMERICA
“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. ”
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
Words and music by Irving Berlin
© Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund
International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.
Used by Permission
If you remember previously Jeb came out and said “Immigrants are more fertile” and is married to one who bore him three children.
Jeb knows from first hand experience about an “Act of Love” since his wife Columba is a Mexican whom he met while teaching in Mexico in 1971. He left Mexico and surprisingly she showed up in Texas and they were married in 1974. Columba was Naturalized in 1988.
Regardless, they have three children named George, Noelle and Jeb. Below are a few of the accomplishments of the kids. George is running for state office in TX. Please keep in mind Jeb considers himself somewhat of an expert regarding primary and secondary education supporting common core. Somehow I don’t think Jeb is qualified to be lecturing on how kids should be educated.
If you click on the links below they have been scrubbed from the internet. Fortunately I saved the info before it was scrubbed.
AKA Columba Garnica Gallo
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Republican
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of Florida governor Jeb Bush
In June 1999 Columba Bush was thwarted at Atlanta International Airport attempting to smuggle $19,000 in French clothing and jewelry into the United States without declaring the purchases. Despite the fact that the U.S. customs officers gave her two opportunities to amend the form, Bush declined. Then they found the receipts in her purse. Bush wrote a check for $4,100 to cover the fine (three times the duty amount) and went on her way. A few days later she claimed her crime had been entirely inadvertent, calling it “an awful mistake” and declaring: “It’s an accident and I regret it with all my heart.”
High School: León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Daughter of Florida Governor Jeb Bush (tough on drugs!)
|26 Jul 1977||Noelle Lucila Bush born, to Jeb and Columba Bush. She is the niece of George W Bush.|
|1995||A female with Noelle Bush’s name and identical birthdate arrested for shoplifting at an Arizona mall. If so, Noelle does not have a clean criminal record required for her to avoid harsh sentencing under Florida’s drug laws. Caveat: While this might not actually be her, how many Noelle Bush’s were likely born on July 26th, 1977?|
|1999||Admissions of drug offenders to Florida’s prison system up 19% from 1998.|
|2000||Noelle Bush graduates Tallahassee Community College. She resides with her parents in the Florida Governor’s mansion, which in some sense qualifies as “state subsidized housing.”|
|29 Jan 2002||Noelle Bush arrested at Walgreen’s on a charge of prescription fraud, attempting to obtain Xanax.|
|29 Jan 2002||“Columba and I are deeply saddened over an incident that occurred last night involving our daughter Noelle. This is a very serious problem. Unfortunately, substance abuse is an issue confronting many families across our nation… We ask the public and the media to respect our family’s privacy during this difficult time so that we can help our daughter. We will have no further comment on this issue. Thank you for your understanding.”|
|9 Sep 2002||“One of the women here was caught buying crack cocaine tonight. And a lot of the women are upset because she’s been caught about five times. And we want something done because our children are here, and they just keep letting it slip under the counter and carpet… She does this all the time and she gets out of it because she’s the governor’s daughter. But we’re sick of it here ’cause we have to do what’s right, but she gets treated like some kind of princess. And everybody’s tired of it, you know. We’re just trying to get our lives together, and this girl’s bringing drugs on property.” Transcript, Orlando Police Department, receiving an anonymous call from within the Center for Drug-Free Living, where Noelle Bush is currently in rehab.|
|9 Sep 2002||Employee Julia Elias discovers 0.2g crack cocaine hidden in Noelle Bush’s shoe, while Bush is a patient at the Center for Drug-Free Living. Elias prepares a written statement to this effect, but supervisor Vilma Accison orders her to stop talking to police, and to destroy the document. Lacking the document or cooperation, police were unable to make an arrest.|
|16 Sep 2002||“While Noelle has been given every break in the book — and then some — her father has made it harder for others in her position to get the help they need by cutting the budgets of drug treatment and drug court programs in his state. He has also actively opposed a proposed ballot initiative that would send an estimated 10,000 non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of jail.” Arianna Huffington.|
|30 Sep 2002||A judge blocks police from questioning employees that found the crack cocaine in Noelle’s shoe earlier in the month, citing privacy laws. Father Jeb Bush expresses pleasure at the court’s decision.|
|8 Oct 2002||Noelle Bush asks that drug court records be closed on her case, citing a ludicrous theory involving “expectation of privacy.” The real reason, of course, is the extra scrutiny her celebrity status is costing her.|
|15 Oct 2002||A judge denies Bush’s request to seal drug court records.|
|17 Oct 2002||Noelle Bush sentenced to ten days in Orange County jail for contempt, because of the crack cocaine.|
|8 Aug 2003||Noelle Bush released from rehab to the custody of her parents, Governor Jeb Bush and wife Columba.|
I am going to draw on decades of having been a public relations counselor to corporations and other organizations for some thoughts about the resignation of Mozilla’s co-founder Brendan Eich, after his donation to support a California proposition banning gay marriage eight years ago became an issue for the company less than two weeks after he became its CEO.
Despite the passage of the ban, voted upon by a majority (52%) of Californians who believe that marriage should be restricted to the union of a man and a woman, the California Supreme Court ruled against it. Same sex marriages in California resumed after the U.S. Supreme Court restored the federal district court’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. Heeding the will of the people is not the California way.
At the end of 2008, same-sex marriages were legal only in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Today seventeen states, including California, allow such marriages. The gay, lesbian and transgender population of America is about three percent, but they are among the most vocal special interest groups in the nation.
From a PR point of view, Eich’s decision was a very bad one. Other corporations have found themselves targeted by the gay community. Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta based company has opposed gay marriage based on its commitment to Christian values, but most corporations regard any vocal opposition with more fear than courage. It has a lot to do with being in the business of selling products and services as well as being answerable to their investors.
It also explains, for example, why most embrace environmental demands in some fashion, including Big Oil and Big Coal. It’s no accident that BP Oil has a television advertising campaign going these days emphasizing the way drilling for oil in Alaska generates thousands of jobs elsewhere in the nation. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is fading into the past as well it should. Simply said, accidents happen.
I suspect that Eich’s decision was based in part on the fact that its corporate headquarters are located in San Francisco. A Reuters news article noted that “Gay rights are widely embraced in the San Francisco area” described as “long known for its thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Silicon Valley’s tech culture reflects that sensitivity and its companies rely on their CEOs to set that kind of tone.”
The curious thing is that Eich’s “views about gay marriage had been known within Mozilla for nearly two years…” His appointment as CEO put him in the limelight and a call for a boycott by OkCupid opened the doors to a decision to stand by his views or leave, presumably in the interest of the company. The company chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, said of his resignation that “you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”
After freedom of religion, free speech is the next one cited in the Constitution’s First Amendment. It’s not hard to stand for it if you have the courage to do so.
Largely unknown to most Americans is the growing matrix of laws at the state level that grant a special status to the GLBT community. This is particularly true in Massachusetts. At the federal level, the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” has passed the Senate and is headed for a vote in the House. Critics say it would create a federally-enforced special employment status for homosexuals and transsexuals. Such a law would create a privileged inequality, not equality in the workplace.
Andrew Sullivan, a prominent gay blogger, showed the kind of courage that Eich should have. “You want to squander the real gains we have made by argument and engagement by becoming just as intolerant of others’ views as the Christians?” asked Sullivan. “You’ve just found a great way to do this. It’s a bad, self-inflicted blow. And all of us will come to regret it.” From a PR point of view, Sullivan is right.
“If this is the gay rights movement today—hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else—then count me out,” said Sullivan.
Christian views are not the stuff of “fanaticism” but rather reflect deeply held spiritual values and a definition of marriage that goes back 5,000 years or more. Those views should be defended.
Reuters noted that Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor, “said Eich’s case was another example of how religious conservatives who only support heterosexual marriage are being victimized for their views. Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer.”
Therein is the reason why Eich’s swift departure was a mistake. He could have and should have allowed the controversy to rage for a short while and watched it disappear.
Polls about gay marriage reveal how sharply divided Americans are on this issue. It goes well beyond being “Christian” or any other religious affiliation. It goes to the issue of whether members of the same sex should be granted the legal rights associated with marriage. For as long as civilization has existed, opposition to same-sex marriage has been a central element of what is deemed moral behavior.
It isn’t, as the courts have ruled, an issue of “equality.” Heterosexual marriage goes to the core of what a society requires to maintain itself. It is the heart of a healthy society and redefining it because a minority whose sexual orientation demands it can only weaken society and the nation that bows to their demands.
Gays could have accepted civil unions, but they choose not to. Now they are out to transform America by employing an intolerance that endangers it.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Bill to immediately free Justina Pelletier from state custody filed in Massachusetts Legislature, despite reluctance among politicians. The goal: Get Justina home by Easter! Everyone’s help is needed!
This past Friday, April 4, bill HD 1412, written by MassResistance, was filed in the Massachusetts Legislature. It will free Justine Pelletier from state custody immediately and return her to her parents’ custody. It is a simple and unambiguous solution to a situation that has become a national nightmare.
The goal is to have Justine back in Connecticut with her family for Easter — the end of next week. This could theoretically happen very quickly. But everyone’s help (even outside Massachusetts) is needed.
|The battlefield will be here between now and Easter!|
Passing a bill like this ought to be a “no-brainer.” But unfortunately in the Massachusetts State House it’s not. As usual, the politicians are full of fear and inertia. There is a disturbing reluctance to get involved, a stark contrast to the people across the country wringing their hands over this.
But as a famous US Senator once said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”We must make that happen on Beacon Hill!
National outrage over girl being taken from her parents by the state
Justina Pelletier’s shocking story has caused enormous outrage around the country and across the political spectrum. This nightmare needs to stop now.
Justine, a 16-year-old girl from West Hartford, CT, was being treated for a rare genetic disorder last year at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. At one point, a doctor from Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston examined her and decided that she instead had a mental disorder. When her parents and the Tufts doctors disagreed, Children’s Hospital and the Mass. Department of Children and Families (DCF) took her into state custody and put her in a psychiatric ward, where she has been for 14 months. It is outrageous.
|Left: Before being taken by the state, Justine was very athletic. Below: After being taken by the state, she’s confined to a wheelchair.|
A hostile Superior Court judge has repeatedly refused to release her. The judge even put a “gag order” on her parents. The parents are now only allowed to see Justina for an hour each week, and are not allowed to talk to her new doctor, according to her father. Since Justina has not been getting proper medical treatments, her health has deteriorating terribly, according to reports. There is fear that she may even die.
On Feb. 24, 2014, there was a hearing in Boston where the family’s lawyers were attempting to get Justina back from state custody. The judge would not budge. The emotion was so intense that Justina’s mother collapsed in the hallway outside the courtroom and had to be taken to an ambulance.
Attempts by well-meaning pro-family groups haven’t worked
Pro-family groups from around the country and even conservative politicians have been trying for months to help Justina. There have been petitions, rallies, prayer vigils, press conferences, appearances on national TV shows, calls for investigations into DCF, and endless venting on radio talk shows. So far none of this has worked. There is now talk about possible court appeals, lawsuits, and even funding cuts by Congress.
Justina and her family have waited too long. We must get her home by Easter. The time has come for action.
|Above and right, supporters of Justina stood outside the courthouse in downtown Boston all day during February 24, 2014, hearing.
This approach WILL get it done.
The Legislature has the ultimate authority to act on this. It has the constitutional power to free Justina. And it could get it done very quickly – if it chooses to.
Most bills take months to work their way through the Legislature. But in fact, a bill can get passed in as little as one day. It happens more frequently than many people realize. For example, a few weeks ago the Legislature wrote, filed, and passed an anti-“upskirting” bill all in one day, after an SJC court decision came down that offended the Legislature. And there are many other examples.
But it takes the will to do it. That’s where all of us come in.
Fear and inertia in the State House
When we started this process at the State House, even we were surprised at how reluctant so many politicians — even Republicans — are to touch this issue Democrats are afraid of crossing the Governor, who apparently supports the DCF’s actions. Republicans are afraid of antagonizing their leadership, which isn’t interested in rocking the boat over this. Politicians in general are afraid of offending judges. And then there’s the fear of angering certain DCF special interests.
“It’s an unpleasant situation, but let it work its way through by itself,” seems to be the sentiment in the State House.
|Rep. Lenny Mirra (R-West) agreed to file the bill.||
Getting this bill filed at all wasn’t easy. Rep. Lenny Mirra (R-West Newbury) said he’d file it “by request” — which means that a constituent wants the bill filed but the rep is reluctant to file it as his own. Luckily, the constituent in this case is Lonnie Brennan, an outstanding pro-family activist and friend of MassResistance who runs the VoteCoreValues political website and was determined to see it through, or it might not have made it. Even then, it took two days to get the bill filed.
It gets down to the same old story: Citizens must make legislators MORE afraid of them than they are of the leadership and special interests. That’s how things get done!
HOW TO HELP GET JUSTINA HOME BY EASTER!
We don’t have much time, so we must get started immediately. Everyone can get involved on some level, even if you don’t live in Massachusetts.
There are 40 senators and 160 state representatives. They need to hear your anger and outrage. (see below)
We are creating a special Free Justina status page on our website. It will have all the current information on the bill and also a link to the list of all 200 reps and senators showing where they currently stand on this.
1. Can you go to the State House on Monday? (Or another day this week?) We need people to go to the State House and personally visit the offices of the reps and senators. And then get back to us exactly where they stand, so we can post it on the website. These personal visits are very important.
Handout to give reps and senators: The one-page text of the bill.
2. Call and email the reps and senators. This is very critical. And the ones who do not support Justina need to be contacted again. There cannot be too many calls and emails. And let us know what their response is.
3. Get the word out. Post this on websites and Facebook, etc. Call talk shows and get them to discuss this. Anything you can to spread the word. We will be posting and updating all the necessary information on www.MassResistance.org/justina
4. Regularly check our Free Justina Status Page. We will be updating it constantly during this week and next — until she gets home! www.MassResistance.org/justina
5. Keep fighting. Don’t give up.
LET’S GET JUSTINA HOME BY EASTER!
|This sign held outside the courthouse on Feb. 24 pretty much says it all.